How to Propose with Flying Colors

Before you get down on one knee, check out our pro tips on how to propose like a boss.

how to propose cover

Our previous article in this series, Buying an Engagement Ring 101, took you back to the basics of ring shopping. With your yes-worthy sparkler in the bag, you’re ready to move on to the proposal. But how does one pop that most nerve-wracking of questions? We’ve put together this foolproof guide to help you nail the proposal.

How to Propose: Know Your Audience

The proposal is your chance to show your SO just how well you know them. Are they the type to go for grand gestures that leave smoke trails in the sky? If so, consider hiring a skywriter, putting on a fireworks display, or having a drone deliver the ring for maximum impact.

how to propose know your audience

If, on the other hand, your SO is the shy type, they’ll probably appreciate a proposal that doesn’t draw the attention of everyone within a five-mile radius. Pick a low-key activity you both enjoy and try to weave in your magic moment. There are plenty of fun ways to propose that don’t involve having your face plastered all over Times Square!

How to Propose: Call in the Big Guns

If you’re unsure when, where, or how to propose, why not enlist the help of your SO’s sister, mom, or best friend?

how to propose call in the big guns

By teaming up with their inner circle, you can get valuable intel, create convincing decoys, and plan a more elaborate proposal. Sure, you may not like the idea of sneaking around, but it’s all for a good cause: your SO’s ultimate happiness.

How to Propose: Give a Helping Hand

It’s a given that the moment you slip that ring on her finger, she’ll be in full-on selfie mode. But no amount of sparkle can disguise chipped nails or dry, chapped skin. Be sure she gets the ultimate ring selfie with a well-timed trip to the manicurist.

how to propose give a helping hand

This will ensure her hands are at their fleekest and you’ll come away looking like a hero. If you’re subtle about it, she won’t suspect your fiendish ulterior motive…

How to Propose: Schedule Your Jewel

Whatever you’re planning, it’s preferable to have the ring in hand before you finalize any reservations that require upfront payment. Design-your-own engagement rings can take a few weeks to arrive as they are custom made.

how to propose schedule your jewel

It’s recommended that you place your order ahead of time, just to be on the safe side. This is especially important if you’re planning a romantic getaway and extra time is needed for your order to reach you.

Apropos of the Proposal…

We’ve got more tips and tricks coming your way! Stay tuned to this proposal series for expert advice about proposing on a budget, proposing on vacation, collaborating on the ring, and more.

For now, check out the 10 Essential Proposal Tips we mined from our customers’ experiences.

All set to pop the question? Let us know how you intend to do it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

Pin this image to save your proposal inspo:

how to propose pinterest pin

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Jonny Hart

Jonny is passionate about puns, adores alliteration, and finds diamonds positively facet-nating! Since joining James Allen, he has written the word 'sparkle’ 9,732 times and counting.

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engagement ring selfie

How to Take an Awesome Engagement Ring Selfie

Read on for tips on how to become an expert engagement ring-selfie taker and get inspo from our favorite customer ring photos.

Learn how to Take an Awesome Engagement Ring Selfie

We all know the only thing more exciting than getting engaged is posting an engagement ring selfie on Instagram for the world to see! The thing is…you want to show off your precious baby, I mean engagement ring, but you’re no professional photographer.

So here’s how to ensure you’ll make a great photo of your engagement ring that will be the ring envy of all the other girls.


Use bright, eye-catching colors that make your engagement ring selfie pop. Also, since most engagement rings don’t have much color in them (unless they’re gemstone rings or include fancy-color diamonds), adding shocking colors to the rest of the composition will help people notice your shot in their Instagram feed.

White Gold Pavé Knife Edge Lotus Basket Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Pave Knife Edge Lotus Basket Engagement Ring
photo credit:


Nothing shows off your engagement ring bling like a rockin’ manicure to bring out the sparkle. Choose a color that complements your skin tone. Add some funky nail art for extra attention.

White Gold Six-Prong Wire Basket Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Six Prong Wire Basket Engagement Ring
photo credit: @conillina


And by fuzz, we mean cats and dogs – it’s no secret that the internet goes crazy for pets. Loved so much by their humans, The Puppy Proposer has actually become quite a common profession for dogs and will look great in your engagement ring selfie!

White Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Princess-Cut)

puppy with 14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring on his nose
photo credit: @thecreepycavalier


Close-up pictures of hands can make your fingers look like aliens. Avoid that by playing with the position of your fingers. Yes, there are less and more flattering angles for your fingers, just like for your hips!

Rose Gold Knife Edge Solitaire Engagement ring

Lab Created 1.00.00 Carat D-SI1 Pear Shaped Diamond 1.5mm Comfort Fit Engagement Ring
photo credit: @pesmurria

If you’re not having luck finding a nice way to show your whole hand, consider tucking your fingers into a fist, or make your fingers look more elegant by bending them down to your palm.

White Gold Diamond Pavé Sunburst Engagement Ring

photo credit: @bresheppard


Engagement ring bling is not like any other bling – there is meaning and love behind your ring. Show it! Maybe take a romantic engagement ring selfie of you and your fiancé’s hands intertwined, getting ready for your new chapter together.

Yellow Gold Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
(Oval Center)

14K Yellow Gold Pave Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
photo credit: @peyton.baxter


Don’t be afraid to be artsy. You’ll get more attention if you take a unique picture of your ring. Think about composition, colors and interesting objects to place in the shot.

Rose Gold Pavé Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
(Pear Center)

14K Rose Gold Pave Halo Diamond Engagement Ring with coffee cup
photo credit: @hopeisafeather


Go with whatever season it is when you’re taking your engagement ring selfie. Give off summer vibes during summer with a cool cocktail at the beach, or a go for a cozy, wintry feel during the winter, with a sweater, a book, and hot chocolate. This helps you stay relevant and makes it easier for people to relate.

White Gold Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Cushion Outline Pave Engagement Ring selfie with manicure
photo credit: @nicolekimberlyy


Take the engagement ring selfie of the year, the selfie that gets tons of #goals comments from admiring strangers. Make it a real lifestyle shot, showing you living the good life with your ring bling. It’s all about the lifestyle your engagement ring brings you and how it makes you feel.

White Petite Pavé Engagement Ring (Flush Fit)

matching wedding band and diamond engagement ring engagement ring selfie on the beach
photo credit: @ashleycried


Natural lighting will show off the sparkle of your rock best. Take a photo outside during morning hours for great lighting, or inside with only window light (no flash or indoor lighting).

Petite Pavé Crown Diamond Engagement Ring

14K Yellow Gold Petite Pave Crown Diamond Engagement Ring
photo credit: @eirdreroache


Pay attention to the light reflecting off your diamond, and snap the picture at the angle which catches the most light, giving off pure brilliance.

White Gold Petite Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Petite Pave Engagement Ring
photo credit: @kayla.laumann


Don’t just give a vague idea of what your ring looks like – your engagement ring is a carefully crafted piece – show us! Let the beautiful details shine through.

White Gold Cushion Outline Pavé Engagement Ring

14K White Gold Cushion Outline Pave Engagement Ring
photo credit:

Well, what are you waiting for?

Polish your diamond, and show us your stuff!

Looking for a ring to be your engagement ring selfie star? Design your dream engagement ring on

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Melissa Schreiber

Melissa is a lover of love, writing, cupcakes and pretty things (James Allen sparkle included).

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